Monday, 25 April 2011

Post-Triduum Thoughts

These first pictures were taken early on Holy Saturday in All Saints, the Altars stripped and bare, the Cross used for the veneration during the Good Friday Liturgy clearly visible.

Holy Saturday began with a gathering for Morning Prayer and the Litany, together with a Reading from an ancient Homily, on the Harrowing of Hell, the Christian poetic imagination's response to 1 Peter 4.6, where the Gospel is preached even to the dead.

As the day wore on, gatherings of the faithful descended on both churches, to clean, decorate and prepare for the great day. By late afternoon, as these pictures show, Holy Saturday has given way to Easter Eve.

The Font and High Altar at S.Mary's, ready for Easter Day.

On Holy Saturday, the Aumbry in the S.Nicholas Chapel at S.Mary's still empty, awaiting the joyous restoration of the Blessed Sacrament:

All the services of the Great Three Days have been noticeably well attended this year, from Bishop Stephen presiding for us at the Maundy Thursday Liturgy, right through to the Dawn Liturgy, and the 4 celebrations of the Holy Eucharist on Easter Day. Despite some exhaustion on the afternoon of Easter Day, having surfaced at around 3.45am, my conscience, my faith and my Church all instruct me that this day is the Queen of Feasts , meaning that some feasting and drinking is obligatory.....

A few more pictures of All Saints, taken in the early evening of Holy Saturday, awaiting the visit of the women to the Tomb:

In the middle of the Medieval East Window at S.Mary's, you can just see on this picture a wonderful Resurrection Image, based on the account in St Matthew's Gospel, as Christ holds the Royal Victorious Banner, and the soldiers cower in terror.

Thou Art Risen, O Lord!
Let the quiet Altar dazzle with light;
let us haste to thy Presence, wondering, incredulous for joy;
and partake of thy Risen Life.

(Eric Milner-White)